Bring back Classic Visual Basic, an improved version of VB6
The silent majority of VB6 users did not ask for changes that came with .NET
We request Microsoft brings back classic Visual Basic as COM development is back with Windows 8.
David Platt wrote an excellent article about why classic VB still thrives:
We have read all of the comments on this thread and I’d like to thank you for providing your constructive feedback on this issue. Instead of merely repeating our support and migration guidance that has been laid out on http://msdn.com/vbrun, I’d like to address some of your specific comments here.
To play back the feedback themes we’re hearing:
- VB6 is awesome
- VB6 needs to be brought forward and maintained: in a new release or OSS
VB6 was and still is without a doubt awesome. VB6 made developers incredibly productive building a breadth of applications and as a result we have a wealth of applications and passionate developers to this day in 2014. One way I see our mission in developer tools is to empower developers to solve problems. This includes both today’s problems AND the problems of tomorrow. VB6, as you all have stated repeatedly in this thread, is an excellent tool for solving the problems of its day. We also stand behind our decision starting in 2002 to meet the current demands of our developers and the industry with .NET. For the scenarios VB6 set out to do, we see VB6 being “complete”. We feel good about VB6 being able to continue maintaining their applications for the past 15 years. Current needs ranging from distributed applications and services, to web applications and services, to devices, to new architectures and languages, required fundamental changes to the whole stack. We looked at how we could accommodate these needs through incremental changes to VB6 while maintaining its essence, and that was not possible.
To address the modern needs we would need to go far beyond updating the language. We have to remember that VB6 is not just a language. VB6 is a language, a runtime, a platform library, a tool/IDE, and an ecosystem tightly packaged together in a way that made all of them work well together. We’ve worked with many customers on migration from VB6 to .NET and found that while yes, there are language changes, the dominating factor in migration difficulties isn’t the language differences. Even open sourcing the language/runtime wouldn’t solve the fact that VB6 was thought for a different set of problems, and the fact that its strength came from the end-to-end solution provided by all these five pieces working together. Take a change like 64bit, the complete runtime, tools and ecosystem chain would need to be retooled.
So, moving forward what can we do? Where we have been able to help move forward is in our stance around support and interoperability. The VB6 runtime it is still a component of the Windows operating system and is a component shipped in Windows 8.1. It will be supported at least through 2024. This ensures your apps and components continue to run as you incrementally move forward to .NET. The support policy is here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ms788708. There are numerous interop strategies that we developed and evolved to enable incremental migration as you upgrade your skills, described here: http://msdn.com/vbrun.
In summary, VB6 was awesome. We agree. We don’t expect or demand anyone to throw away their code or rewrite from any of our technologies unless it makes business sense for them to do so. We have to innovate to enable our customers to innovate. It is not a viable option to create a next version of VB6. We stand by our decision to make VB.NET and the .NET Framework. We think they are awesome too. It is not feasible to open source VB6 tools chain and ecosystem. The VB6 runtime was last shipped in Windows 8.1 and will be supported for the lifetime of Windows 8.1. Support and interop are great tools to move forward incrementally.
I hope you feel we’ve listened to your feedback and that I’ve explained things well enough that you understand our decision.
Group Program Manager
Microsoft Visual Studio Cloud Tools
With around 10 million .NET users, NET is going strong!
"VB6 is in the hands of a geriatric appreciation society who have unwittingly made it about as forward thinking as a steam engine in a vintage tractor museum."
With around 10 million .NET users, NET is going strong! However we can not say the same for VB6. Just look at the list of Stack Overflow survey. This dashes out any hope to bring back VB6.
Stack Overflow 2018 survey MOST DREADED Languages
Visual Basic 6
Visual Basic6 is not just a bad language -- it is a hideous jumble of traps and annoyances, a short step up from Intercal in usefulness.
1. Awful declaration syntax and requirements. Variables must be declared but cannot be defined at the same time. Every interesting object is a "variant", which is a useless declaration.
2. Prison-like development environment. I can't develop code that's not tied to a document somehow; I can't even put the code in source control except by copying the text out into a separate file, then copying it back in for use. I can't leave one routine partially written while I investigate something else, because the editor will go crazy.
3. Active hostility to polymorphism. If I want a function to work for numbers, I have to make sure those numbers aren't wrapped in a 1x1 array (a variant!) because VB will not unwrap them for me. But I can't just test whether a function input is a variant, because that is too general.... there is no good solution to this.
4. Complete lack of libraries. Methods that would be standardized in serious languages, or built directly into the language, are just missing. Where are my hash tables, deques, etc? Where are sort and unique and filter? Where is map? They are nowhere to be found, and I can't supply them except by loading documents over and over into the catastrophically bad IDE, see (2).
Any of these would be a show-stopper for serious consideration of VB. (3) is the most painful to deal with, but I guess (4) is actually the most serious.
Having used both VB6 and NET I can tell you that VB6 is not suitable for LOB windows applications. I remember having designed complex code in the 90s and early 2000s and it was almost impossible to unit test those complex applications, not to mention the maintainability and expandability aspects. That's the reason why most of the big businesses were not happy to stay with VB6 since very early on. It doesn't mean that all software is complex and requires solid principles to separate UI and business model. However for big businesses and their mission critical software this is vital as they want to keep their codebase maintainable and expandable..NET is the best choice for windows to do this. Ask any professional software developer and you will see that .NET is the most popular. It is an almost complete framework with huge user community and .NET programmers are highly in demand (and very, very well paid).). It pleases professional business software developers immensely. Yes there are other software that you can use for mission specific purposes. For instance ADA is a very old language that is widely used in aerospace and aviation due to its many fail-safe features. Obviously, using VB6 wouldn't be practical in such a case. Similarly, Python is embraced by the scientific community for similar reasons. Currently VB6 has really no such area, in which it would be the best choice. There are many other modern languages, equally easy to learn and targeting RAD type of environments. That is the reason why Microsoft does not pursue VB6 any longer and I don’t blame them.
1- THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE SINGLE MODERN AND COMMERCIAL PRODUCT written in VB6!!! Please can you show me one.
2- Stackoverflow 2016-2017-2018 survey has chosen VB6 the MOST HATED language of all times. Can you explain why?
3- VB6 dropped in just month from 14th place to 18th on Tiobe index. Can you elaborate on this and tell me why? Do you still believe that VB6 is very popular?
I am waiting. Thank you.
There is a new release of the utility to install the VB6 programming IDE on Windows 7 and Windows 10
Visual Studio 6.0 Installer wizard v.5.0
This has been tested on Windows 10 v1803
Microsoft have published a support statement for VB6 programming...
Support Statement for Visual Basic 6.0 on Windows
(Note: The support policy below has been updated with Windows 10 version 1709 support information.)
The Visual Basic team is committed to "It Just Works" compatibility for Visual Basic 6.0 applications on the following supported Windows operating systems:
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 including R2
Windows Server 2008 including R2
The Visual Basic team’s goal is that Visual Basic 6.0 applications continue to run on supported Windows versions.
As detailed in this document, the core Visual Basic 6.0 runtime will be supported for the full lifetime of supported Windows versions, which is five years of mainstream support followed by five years of extended support.
The VB6 runtime will ship and will be supported in Windows 10 for the lifetime of the OS (that is until at least 2025).
The VB6 runtime will ship and will be supported in Windows Server 2016 for the lifetime of the OS (that is until at least 2027).
"hosting an app in the store means that Microsoft is at least somewhat vouching for its compatibility and content. Potential purchasers perceive it as sort of a Good Computing Seal™"
Good times for VB6.
>> A few days ago you have said the following:
>>>>The reality is that UWP/.Net Core/Xamarin are already dead, only gullible fantasists think they have a future.
"It’s only a matter of time until someone writes a COM bridge to Universal Windows Platform, so VB6 can use it easily."
A few days ago you have said the following:
>>The reality is that UWP/.Net Core/Xamarin are already dead, only gullible fantasists think they have a future.
So now you are thrilled by the "VB6 app to be hosted in the Windows 10 Store, using the Microsoft Desktop Bridge infrastructure and tools".
Do you know what you want? You hated UWP a few days ago and now you are talking about the "big boost" because D.Platt talks about it. You must be confused.
"If vbForums.com is anything to go by, VB6 is in the hands of a geriatric appreciation society who have unwittingly made it about as forward thinking as a steam engine in a vintage tractor museum."
"one of the sad gits has come to sprinkle bile on the grave of VB6. I'd rather be with Zagor after savoring your cannibal vandalism."
"I have zero desire to lick your vegemite sandwich"
"You are a toxic customer."
Loafaday is a great poet indeed!
The June 2018 MSDN magazine has an article about VB6 programming.
"These bridging tools instruct Windows 10 to enforce good behavior on regular, not-otherwise-compliant, Win32 apps. For example, Windows 10 (when properly instructed) will use a separate registry file to handle changes the app might make to the system registry, so it can’t clobber any other apps or resources. For another example, any changes the app might make to the file system are automatically redirected to the ApplicationData.LocalFolder, where Windows 10 standards require them to reside."
"But wait! There’s more! Microsoft has exposed many of the Windows 10 salient features to native Win32 apps (see bit.ly/2JFPgSI). VB6 apps are, by definition, native Win32 apps. It’s only a matter of time until someone writes a COM bridge to Universal Windows Platform, so VB6 can use it easily. I can imagine VB6 apps doing things like updating live tiles. These life-extenders should drive VB6 detractors barking mad."
"With these latest improvements to compatibility, I foresee at least another ten years of life for VB6. And I’ll bet you anything that this support gets renewed in Windows 11 and 12, or whatever they’re called by then. Another decade of driving the puritans crazy."
Classic VB6 programming is more popular than Perl, Swift, Assembly Language, Matlab, Go, Delphi and over 200 other programming languages.
Had to automate some actions in Excel today. Look at that VBScript is still the default language in the latest MS Office. Took me a few minutes and BAM done.
Kudos to VB!
Please stop thinking everyone is against you. It isn't true.
I and others have gently suggested you treat your potential users as friends not enemies.
Have you never heard the saying "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"?
I'm glad, for your sake, you have moved on. No one is against you, certainly not I.
Everything I have tried to say to you is both genuine and well meant. I'm not demanding anything of you. I was only making suggestions. You certainly don't have to follow any of those suggestions. But please then don't blame others for failing to be convinced by what you are offering.
Your posts often come across as confrontational, whether that is what you intend I don't know. But either way it isn't a good sales technique. And that's what you need(ed) to do.
Again I repeat, I am not against you. You have more friends here than you may imagine. I appreciate that a small number of posters may have upset you (whether with their own intentions for VB6 or because they were VB6 detractors) but that is no reason to start insulting all VB6 users.
You may be mistaking me for someone else, I certainly haven't offered you a 'vegemite sandwich' - if I did it would be a marmite sandwich - and I've no idea what 'beef jerky'd me around' means.
Please, for your own sake, (and said in a non-bitter, non-twisted, way) calm down a little.
@"Anonymous commented · June 11, 2018 21:51". You are making a fool out of yourself and demonstrating my point precisely.
If you demand it, I will show you nothing. Ie: NOTHING. Get it? If you want it, show appreciation for it and, though I won't, maybe the next guy might deliver, but they will probably learn pretty quickly you are in need of a sedative more than a solution.
Mate, I've totally moved on. I'm doing fine in ways you could not imagnie. I have zero desire to lick your vegemite sandwich. I offered, you beef jerky'd me around, you lose. But thanks for the lesson which is to never mess with the bitter and twisted.
By the way, I/we did show you something. We removed the key component as it became increasingly clear you are driven by bitterness. I am not interested in your patronage and indeed, quite the opposite. You are a toxic customer. Zagor probably less so.
As Joel Spolsky, founder and CEO of Stack Overflow says, the VB6 programming environment is "the most perfect programming environment ever created."
You are mistaken. Several of us have tried to suggest you stop insulting VB6 users if you wish to either work with them or have them use your software.
Instead you make posts increasingly attacking those who suggest your posts ought to be more restrained.
As I said below, if and when you have something to show we will all be pleased to see it. That is genuine. It is you who insists on taking that the wrong way.
Calm down, have a drink, and hopefully wake up in a better mood tomorrow.